“As Minister of Environment and Parks, I am proud to celebrate World Environment Day, which marks the beginning of Canadian Environment Week. I welcome the opportunity to acknowledge the work being done across the department to conserve and protect Alberta’s beautiful natural surroundings.

“Spring is here, and from the wetlands to the badlands, it’s never been more evident that Albertans love spending time in the outdoors. Through Budget 2022, Alberta’s government is investing more than $130 million into provincial parks and recreation areas, reflecting this government’s strong commitment to conservation and sustainable recreation.

“This commitment is also reflected in the decision to introduce the Kananaskis Conservation Pass and Public Lands Camping Pass. During their first year, these passes generated a combined $13.5 million, with 100 per cent of revenues being reinvested to support recreation, conservation and public safety in these natural areas. The government also expanded both Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park and Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Provincial Park, ensuring more of Alberta’s outdoor spaces will be protected for generations to come.

“Albertans place tremendous value on our water resources. This is especially true for headwaters, the source of drinking water for many downstream communities. Last summer, the government began work on surface water quality management frameworks for the North Saskatchewan, Battle and upper Athabasca rivers to monitor and manage long-term, cumulative changes in water quality. Similar frameworks are already in place in the lower Athabasca, Bow, South Saskatchewan, Oldman and Milk rivers. With the completion of the new frameworks, surface water quality management frameworks will be in place for the entire Eastern Slopes area.

“Alberta has made considerable progress toward protecting natural resources. Over three years, this government’s robust climate and energy policy includes a $700 million investment from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund for programs that diversify the economy and get Albertans back to work. This approach has resulted in meaningful emissions reductions. By retiring and converting coal plants to natural gas, and offering a suite of incentives to reduce methane emissions, Alberta is on track to meet or surpass its goals.